Port Dundas 20 Years Old 2011 Special Release

Single grain scotch whisky

57.4% ABV, £136.39 for 70cl from Master of Malt

Score: 89/100

PortDundas20yoR2011

What they say:

The first ever Diageo Special Release of Grain whisky! From the 2011 releases, this Port Dundas really got people talking. Aged for three years in refill casks, it was then split up into equal parts and aged in either American oak Bodega casks, new charred European oak casks, or first fill American oak Bourbon barrels! The result is delicious!

Nose: Very pleasing mix of bourbon spices, plum wine and black pepper. In fact, there are some almost rum-like aromas conjuring up hints of cinnamon and apple crumble. Definitely a grain whisky, but one with a fantastic pedigree.

Palate: A fabulously evocative palate that tastes extraordinarily like rye whiskey. There are hints of liquorice too, and apple pips, burnt brown sugar and maybe a little strudel, but overall rye whiskey is definitely brought to mind. I could even go so far as to say it strongly reminded me of Van Winkle 13!

Finish: Long, spicy finish with dark fruit and almond.

Overall: A very good and very different old grain whisky. Definitely worth trying!

Port Dundas 20yo Diageo Special Release 2011

What I say:

More sherry finished whisky, I’m sensing a trend here…

Anyway, this was the first single grain whisky released by Diageo as part of their special releases programme highlighting exceptional whisky either well-aged from well-known distilleries or the much more sought after old stocks from long-gone distilleries. This falls into the latter category with Port Dundas closed in 2009.

Thanks to Jon at Scotch and Sci-Fi for sharing this one with us.

Colour:

Dark red wine, autumnal (16/20), medium sized tears

Nose:

Nutty, red fruits, tannic / winey, new leather, raisin, fig, dates, oaky and fruity red wine, strawberry jam, walnut, hazelnut, dry Pedro Ximenez sherry, pecans and maple syrup

Taste:

Smooth, nutty, nutella, hazelnut paste and chocolate, cocoa, some cinnamon, hints of sulphury spices, rich dried fruits, raisins, figs, dates, molasses, treacle, toffee and tannic oak wood

Finish:

Medium-short, sherry, fruit and nut chocolate bars

Overall:

Another delicious, heavily sherried grain expression. This expression has rather a lot of complexity for grain whisky, likely from the interplay of the numerous cask types used in its maturation. There is masses of lovely fruit, nut, chocolate and leather from the ex-sherry casks with only the mildest suggestion of any sulphur which was lost amongst the tannins and spices. I repeatedly likened this to good red wine, Rioja or Languedoc or PX sherry – lots of fruit and wood influence.